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Orlando Patterson Should Check the Ad

Talk about getting caught with your op-editorial pants down.

But is there nothing The New York Times won’t publish? From scurrilous rumors
and innuendo about John McCain to KKK rubbish about Clinton, the editors have
lost all grasp on standards.

The real source of the insanity, however, emanates from the hyperbolic
imagination of Orlando Patterson, who obviously knows nothing about national security,
but who chooses instead to go to any lengths in order to make everything all about race.

ON first watching Hillary Clinton’s recent “It’s 3 a.m.”
advertisement, I was left with an uneasy feeling that something was not quite
right — something that went beyond my disappointment that she had decided
to go negative. Repeated watching of the ad on YouTube increased my unease.
I realized that I had only too often in my study of America’s racial
history seen images much like these, and the sentiments to which they allude.
… ..

I have spent my life studying the pictures and symbols of racism and slavery,
and when I saw the Clinton ad’s central image — innocent sleeping
children and a mother in the middle of the night at risk of mortal danger
— it brought to my mind scenes from the past. I couldn’t help
but think of D. W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation,” the racist
movie epic that helped revive the Ku Klux Klan, with its portrayal of black
men lurking in the bushes around white society. The danger implicit in the
phone ad — as I see it — is that the person answering the phone
might be a black man, someone who could not be trusted to protect us from
this threat.

The ad could easily have removed its racist sub-message by including
images of a black child
, mother or father — or by stating that
the danger was external terrorism. … ..

Red Phone in Black and White
, by Orlando Patterson (emphasis added)

Looking for racism in every moment of a white person’s political campaign is
as bad as being racist. No, actually, it is racist. He evidently also didn’t bother to review Clinton’s ad. Unfortunately for Mr. Patterson, as Mr. Somersby reveals,
he’s been found out.
As you can see from the picture above, which the Clinton campaign took the time
to cut out and offer, there
actually is a black child in the 3:00 o’clock ad
. Frankly, I didn’t notice
one way or the other, because it was obvious to any fair minded person that this ad
was about the commander-in-chief question that Clinton and other national security
Democrats realize will be asked against John McCain. Clinton’s crime was daring
to ask that question of Barack Obama. As if it hadn’t crossed the conservatives’
minds already. Ridiculous.

But looking for racism is what people are doing right now, starting off with
Barack Obama himself who played his “hoodwink” card from
South Carolina
to use in Mississippi. Can we doubt he’ll do it again in North

Eric Boehlert has a column up about the “60
Minutes” Muslim gotcha question
, on which Clinton was once again judged
to be divisive.

Meanwhile, the Obama campaign, trying to get even for Samantha Power, is on
full attack against Geraldine Ferraro’ s recent comments.

However, today’s column by Orlando Patterson comparing a commander-in-chief
ad to the “Birth of a Nation” and the KKK, with Clinton the villain, of course,
is a new low even in this season’s race baiting extravaganza.

I’m still waiting for the traditional media to call Obama on using the “hoodwink”
card, instead of simply reporting he said it. A little history please? It looks like hell won’t be freezing anytime soon.

As a white girl from Missouri who lived through my share of what racism means
and can do to people, I think Patterson represents the worst type of scurrilous
editorializing. There’s a racist behind every white person, especially if you
look hard enough at the Clinton’s, whose lifelong work for African Americans
is now being reduced to some power grab. As for The New York Times’s, their
motto, All The News That’s Fit To Print, just took another hit. Anything for eyes on the page.

TM Note: Typo of Patterson’s name has been corrected.

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.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong